Summer crawling through London Rooftop bars

With the recent (rare) heat wave that hit London last week, we decided to use the opportunity to check out some of the rooftop bars in London for maximum sun and beer exposure. There is still some summer left so plenty of inspiration for drinks under the sun!

Notch – Marble Arch

It is really easy to miss the entrance to this one. From Oxford Street, it looks like the back door or delivery entrance to some of the shops nearby. There is no sign, only a couple of bouncers in black T-shirts. It’s only when you look carefully at the print on their t-shirts, you know they are working for Notch. You then find yourself walking up four floors (no lifts) all the way to the roof top! By the end of it, you know you have earned your pint!

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Once in, Notch has a very chilled out vibe, even if somewhat noisy considering it is directly above Oxford Street. Drinks are reasonably priced. The food menu is inventive and features light bites. We tried the pork belly with honey hoisin and spicy miso enclosed in steamed buns. It was delicious (£8 for two buns) and wolfed down quickly.

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The walls are high to block off the noise. An interesting feature are the individual swings facing Oxford Street – a great way to tap into your inner child whilst having a cocktail and conversation.

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The place takes both cash and card, and there are two toilets at the rear which were tiny but clean so no complaints there!

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I would visit again, not so much for the views but for its central London location – a good place to hang out with friends or work colleagues for after work/pre-dinner drinks.

Aqua Nueva – Oxford Circus

A relatively well established veteran amongst London rooftop bars, this is off Regent Street and is connected to their Spanish restaurant of the same name. Comfortable seating abounds (even if the grey sofas could do with a revamp) and you can easily have an informal business meeting or a casual date here.

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As it is linked to the restaurant, prices are high and we were charged service tax even though we ordered our drinks direct from the bar. Still it has a classy ambience, extensive selection of drinks and great views.

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Madison – St. Pauls

Definitely a pleasant surprise, the best part of Madison is the spectacular views of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the city skyscrapers including the Shard. We went on a scorching summer day, but this place on top of One New Change would be equally stunning during sunset.

There is limited seating, mostly concentrated around the main bar area, as you are not allowed to take drinks near the main terrace overlooking St. Paul’s.

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However there are ice lolly carts available to enjoy while you soak in the views!

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Drinks are pricey (£4.50 for a schooner of Peroni) but then this is the City.

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Service was a bit slow but then when the weather is that glorious, who is complaining! The place takes both cash and card, and toilets are located inside the building and were adequate.

Franks – Peckham Rye

Before I visited Franks, Madison would have got my vote as my favourite rooftop bar in London. However, this car park turned café bar (what a clever idea) is definitely an exciting place to be!

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The best things about it are the huge amount of space available and those 360 degree views.

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You can just sprawl with a bunch of mates on the floor of this converted car park or use one of their bench seatings.

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Service is fast and the best out of the other rooftop bars we have been to and they also have good choice of food like chicken wings and pork belly (I love my pork belly).

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They do take cards (but not American Express). Toilet facilities were plenty and very imaginatively designed for outdoor spaces (take note, Glastonbury!)

Pergola on the Roof

A stone’s throw away from Shepherd’s Bush station and directly opposite Westfield (the Next store), this one is on top of a former BBC Television Centre car park. If you spot a queue of people, then join it! Don’t be disheartened by the length; there is plenty of space available to get your whole party in eventually.

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This is a beautiful rooftop bar with long tables, bench seating, day beds, twilight trees and pergolas with hanging plants.

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In terms of look and feel, it has a most enchanting, fairytale-like setting amongst all rooftop bars – very Instagrammable!

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Prices of drinks were very reasonable (£20 for a bottle of house wine) and food was supplied from acclaimed restaurants like Patty and Bun, Salt YardLe Coq and Rabbit (dishes around £8-£9) so it will definitely satisfy the foodie in you.

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I had the pork belly brioche with crackling, pickles and apple sauce from Le Coq, washed down with wine!

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They take cards including American Express. Toilets were the only downside in an otherwise flawless experience – the limited number of portaloos one level down in the car park were not clean and reminded me of my (not-so-great) recent festival experience. But overall a massive thumbs up for the place! My suggestion would be to get a group of mates together (minimum six to book a table ) and stay here for the day!

 

 

 

 

One Comment Add yours

  1. Great photos, definitely instagrammable! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

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